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Dubuque, IA Seeks Sculpture for "Art on the River" Exhibition

Posted by City of Dubuque ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Dubuque, IA Seeks Sculpture for




The City of Dubuque, Iowa, is soliciting applications from qualified artists over the age of 18 for the 2016-2017 Art on the River public art exhibit, now in its eleventh year. Annually, 10 sculptures are chosen to be placed at highly visible locations along the picturesque Mississippi RiverWalk at the Port of Dubuque. Thousands of residents and tourists view the exhibit each year.

Previous experience in outdoor installation of public work is preferred but not necessary. Artists receive $1,500 for loaning the work for a year. A $1,000 cash award for Best of Show is given to one artist, and at the end of each exhibition one artist is chosen by residents and visitors as the People’s Choice.

Application deadline is March 6th. Up to three entries per artist are accepted. There is no application fee.


  • To increase awareness and understanding of public art
  • To present an affordable and accessible art experience for people of all ages
  • To enhance the quality of life for the citizens of Dubuque
  • To promote Art on the River and the City of Dubuque as a cultural destination for visitors, artists and residents
  • To provide a showcase for local, regional and national artists


Selection Criteria

Artists can submit up to three works; however, a separate application form must be completed for each entry.

Sculpture must be original.

Sculpture must be suitable for outdoor display in adverse weather conditions – high winds, rain, intense heat, snow and freezing temperatures.

Sculptures will be located in high traffic areas with an unsupervised audience and must be soundly and professionally constructed of durable and safe components and require no maintenance during the display period.

Works must be appropriate for viewing by residents and visitors of all ages.

A work must be able to be installed on available sites, some in grassy areas, both sloping and flat, and on a limited number of concrete bases.


Selection Process

Art on the River is coordinated by a sub-committee of the City’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission, local artists, educators, and City staff. A panel of three jurors will review the applications and select 10 sculptures to recommend to the Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission. Final selection is approved by the Dubuque City Council. Upon notification of selection, exhibiting artists will be required to sign an Artist Agreement. The Jury makes siting recommendations, upon approval of City staff. After installation, one work will be selected as Best of Show and will be awarded $1000. Before the close of the exhibit in 2018, community votes will be tallied and People’s Choice award of $500 will be awarded at the 2018 Opening Reception.


Project Timeline/Deadlines

The exhibit will be displayed from June 2017 to June 2018.

  • February 1:  Call for Applications made public
  • March 6:  Applications must be received by midnight CST. Applications can only be submitted online at Applications received after the deadline will not be accepted. No application fee is required.
  • March 20: City Council approves recommendations
  • March 21: Selection/ notification to all artists
  • April 7: Signed contracts due from exhibiting artists
  • June 26-29: Delivery and installation of work
  • June 29: Opening Reception. Artists are encouraged to attend. Accommodation can be provided upon request.  Best of Show winner announced.


Stipend, Awards, Sales

Selected artists receive a $1,500 stipend for loaning their work for a year. Half (50%) of the stipend is awarded upon signing the Artist Agreement, (30%) after installation is satisfactorily completed and the final 20% upon successful deinstallation. All works must be for sale and remain in the exhibit through June 2017. The Best of Show $1,000 cash award will be presented at the Opening Reception. Online voting for a People’s Choice designation will take place throughout the year, with results publicized at the end of the exhibit in 2017 and will receive a cash prize (pending City Council approval). The City will make every reasonable attempt to sell the works, taking a 25% commission on sculpture sold during or as a result of the show.


Exhibition details

·       City staff must be notified no later than 30 days prior to the installation date of any changes to proposed works so that the Jury and Commission may approve changes.

·       Once selected, City staff will work with each artist to plan exact installation details.

·       The City of Dubuque will provide insurance for the work once it is installed and until it is removed from the site or by the removal deadline, whichever comes first.

·       Artists are responsible for all costs, equipment and labor necessary for the delivery and removal of the work and assume all risk and damage to the work before and during installation and during and after removal. The City may provide installation and removal assistance of works on a limited basis with prior arrangement.

·       The artist will install the work with supervision of City personnel during normal working hours M-F 8am to 5 pm.

·       The City of Dubuque reserves the right to photograph and reproduce images of the work for marketing, commercial and educational materials.

·       The City of Dubuque will promote the exhibit with planned events, Art on the River website, media releases, City Channel TV8, brochures, and calendar listings. Copies of media articles and promotional materials will be provided to the artist after the opening of the exhibit.

·       Artists are encouraged to attend the Pre-Reception for Artists and the public Opening Reception, and to participate in interviews or other promotional activities during the installation process. The Best of Show award will be announced at the Opening Reception


Application Deadline

Complete online applications must be received by midnight on March 6th, 2017 CST, at . Incomplete applications and/or those received after the deadline will not be accepted. No application fee is required.


For additional information, please contact Debra Alleyne, at 563-690-6059 and at Information about Art on the River is available online, including information on past exhibits, a map of the Port of Dubuque and art locations.


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